1. Why is music sometimes painful?
Your ears are what keep us connected to the world. If an ear infection, disease or any other condition has been ruled out and you still experience pain and discomfort while listening to music your could have Hyperacusis (a reduced tolerance to musical tones/noise.)
Hyperacusis is caused by damage to the inner ear; wither from age or from continual exposure to loud music/noise as a youngster. A distortion in sound or a popping sensation inside the ear could also cause some pain. Lower sounds such as the buzz from a computer, TV, fridge or fluorescent light could cause pain too.
The ear is divided into three main regions. The outer ear protects the ears from any direct damage to the eardrum. The middle ear is separated from the outer ear by the eardrum. The eardrum is a cavity, filled with air and is connected to the back of the nose by the Eustachian tube. Sound waves are carried from the outer ear through the middle ear to the eardrum.
These sounds make the eardrum vibrate. Inside the middle ear are tiny bones that carry the vibration from the eardrum to the inner ear or cochlea. The cochlea is a tiny shell shaped, fluid filled bone that is covered with hair cells. It is these hair cells that transmit the sound waves to the brain. This is how we hear sound. If there is too much pressure in this very sensitive area, you could feel discomfort and pain.
2. Why is talk radio torture for some people?
Perhaps there are certain frequencies that are not in your everyday life that are bothering to some people. It could be the low frequency hum that is emitted by the radio, that people are sensitive too. This could possibly be analyzed using a sound meter to test certain frequencies.
3. Why cant my child listen to audio books? He covers his ears!
Once again we need to address Hyperacusis! Your child may have a resistance to normal environmental sound. He could be hypersensitive to the certain frequencies heard only on the audiobooks.
4. Why can’t my child have the TV on while they’re doing their homework?
It sounds like your child may have an Auditory Processing Disorder APD.
This is when the brain in unable to filter out exterior sounds and then unable to process those sounds into words. APD children do not having difficulty hearing, in fact most of these children’s hearing is exceptional good. Its just that the brain is processing it incorrectly.
Most children who have APD have a hard time screening out any background noise, music or speaking. They pick up surrounding sounds and are unable to filter them out.
This could also relate to the noise in a classroom coming from the air conditioner or other conversation. Children with this disorder tries hard to work as well as their peers but gets distracted, forgets what is being said, or what they have read and can become very frustrated.
Their ability to read or listen and remember is then compromised.
In some cases our children get diagnosed with ADHD when in fact they have an auditory processing disorder. Children with APD are very different to children with ADHD in that they are able to focus and pay attention and remember in quiet situations. Often they are also sensitive to sounds, such as flushing toilets, sirens, blenders, vacuum cleaners and motor bikes.
A huge thank you to Khymberleigh for answering our readers auditory questions!
Khymberleigh Herwill-Levin, MA. Sp.Ed / AIT and Neurocognitive Practitioner
THE BRAIN FITNESS LEARNING CENTER
Through her company, Learning to Listen/The Brain Fitness Center, more than 4,000 children have seen positive, significant changes in their lives. In the past 14 years, parents from around the world have sought out Khymberleigh’s assessments and treatment for their children. The methods she employs are proven, safe, and highly effective for not only children, but also teens, young adults, and adults. The comprehensive assessment creates the basis of her treatment plan for her clients. Khymberleigh now resides in both California and Nevada with her five beautiful children. She is dedicated and extremely passionate about her work. You may find more information about her practice and AIT at www.ait1st.com